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Yardstick

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  1. Just as you posted - same as the original IL-2.
  2. I think you've hit the nail on the head - the bump mapping is either missing or lacking in some way. The ground just seems completely devoid of 'texture' and appears completely smooth - hence my Longbow 2 reference. I also think it needs more small details: rocks, scrub etc. What bushes are present just don't seem to achieve this effect and look they have been borrowed from CFS3. In 9 days time I will be firing up FS2020 and one of the first areas I will be visiting will be the Western Desert. I'll be very interested to see what it looks like in real life - well as close to real life as I care to get to the Libyan Desert.
  3. Not sure if it is a limitation of the game engine or a bug but although the Mg151/15 appears to have the correct 200 rounds loaded the centre ammo counter starts at 100 and falls to 0 when empty. I'm used to the GB 109s where the counter starts at 100 but goes through two complete cycles before all 200 rounds are expended which I understand to be the correct modelling since the centre counter is calibrated for 100 rounds. I've only tested the F-2.
  4. Apologies - the images in my first post are from the area east of Derna. However, the issue Is not really how the terrain looks from 2,000m. Although having said that even in the above image, which is representative of one of the more visually diverse areas, there are essentially only 2 basic colours used with a lack of subtle variation. Compare that to the Google maps image in the original post. My biggest gripe is that there is a complete lack of any fine detail down low , just the same flat texture that we can see from up on high. Where is the detail down low - rocks and scrub casting shadows that help to create a sense of perspective and speed? Look at image B in my original post (the area adjacent to the first airfield east of Derna) - there is absolutely no detail. I feel like I need to do a IFR landing every time.
  5. There is a lot to like about the Desert Wings - Tobruk, so I don't really want to post this but I have to say that so far I have been very underwhelmed by the new map. I appreciate that the desert is relatively featureless, so I am not expecting the Hanging Gardens of Babylon or Herds of Wilderbeast sweeping majestically across the plains. However, what I am struggling with is the almost complete lack of detail in the textures down low. The ground textures appear to be of such low resolution that there is very little difference between them from 100m or 1,000m apart from them get more blurry the lower you get. This makes spatial orientation very difficult, I'm struggling to gauge altitude and there is absolutely no sense of speed low down. I accept there are limitations to the game engine but these blurry ground textures remind me of Janes Longbow 2 from 1997. Others have highlighted the difficulty in picking out landing strips from the surrounding terrain but that is just one symptom of a greater issue. Deserts are, well ... deserted and but they are not completely devoid of any detail. There is scrub, rocks and boulders even small changes in the height of the terrain will cast shadows giving depth. Even sand has texture and variation in colour and reflects light in subtly different ways. The below are a couple of Google Earth screenshots of approx. 1 km squares from the area around Derna. The satellite images are of a poor quality but you can clearly see the variety and detail in the terrain, something I just don't feel is represented by the Tobruk map. The following are screenshots taken just west of Derna - A 1,000m, B 100m and C 2,000m. The shot from 100m illustrates my point about the lack of detail (textures, objects and shadows). There is just nothing available for us to judge speed and altitude.
  6. It a tricky one. In the first 18 months of it's participation in the war, the USAAF went through numerous version of its national insignia: white star with red centre in a white circle as above no red spot as above with yellow outline stars and bars outlined in red stars and bars. You can imagine what the crew chiefs thought of all that! Both versions 4 and 5 are probably correct for this aircraft depending on its service life. It could be that the red outline has been overpainted in different type of blue paint and its reflecting oddly in the photo - Pierre64's point about the trees seems to confirm this. It's odd though as I have never noticed this effect before. BTW remember that both the fuselage and wing insignia need to be outlined (same goes for all the 5 options - wing and fuselage need to be the same). Actually national insignia of Jugs can be a minefield. Fuselage placement differs (not sure if this is a Republic / Curtis built variation) and underwing insignia size can also differ, with a period when 2 oversized stars and bars was stipulated to try and discourage overzealous friendly AA gunners.
  7. HI legioneod - Ignore all the earlier guff about the serial number, that was my mistake - template mix-up. The above pic is unusual but in my opinion it is definitely a 64th FS, 57th FG aircraft. Firstly the pic is published on their site. Virtually all the squadron markings are correct: black squadron number outlined in red and emblem are correct for the 64th FS. As you rightly point out the red tail is consistent with the 332nd FG. I think your theory about a transfer is correct - my guess is that it's a hand-me-down from the 332nd to the 57th. If it had transferred to the 332nd, I would have thought it would have been a simple task to use thinner to strip off the 64th emblem and squadron number. Stripping the tail is an altogether bigger task! The other thing that sways it for me is the black anti-glare strip - something the 57th did when based at Grosetto (I even have a good pic of the black paint having dripped down the panel lines on a freshly painted new arrival). Sorry I am publicly feeding my OCD - but I love all this detective work.
  8. Legioneod, Sorry please ignore all of the earlier post - it was a layer in my template that was superimposing the rogue serial number Note to self, don't paint, conference call and post simultaneously!
  9. Update on 4-16620 'Powers Girl'. Found this pic of the aircraft which demonstrates the Jug's phenomenal durability (you can just make out the nose art). I've also noticed that some of your early series 56th FG skins have a 6 digit serial number beginning with a '4'. The above aircraft was 4-16620 but the 4 was not included on the tail. Later series S/Ns moved to 7 digits eg. 42-75513. I need to double check but I am pretty certain that all early series Jugs have serial numbers on the tail of 5 digits beginning with a '1' or in some cases a '2'. The change to 6 digits may have come with the 'D series', as later production aircraft have 6 digits beginning with a '2'.
  10. BTW: S/N: 225507 "Huckle de Buck" was assigned to the 509th FS, 405th FG. The squadron code should be G9-A not UN-A. The cowling looks quite dark to me and may have been black not red which would be consistent with other Razorbacks of the same time period in the 509th eg 225577 'Fat Cat'. http://wing.chez-alice.fr/USAAF/405th_FG/Pilots_&_Nose_Arts_509th_FS.html
  11. Looks like we have a winner I'm not sure if Kozey was the regular pilot of this aircraft but he was flying it when it and he were shot down.
  12. I've spotted a minor error in the template for the razorback (below). The OD layer encroaches on the hub and propeller boss. Using the default template results in the prop hub and boss looking like this. It seems a number of skinners have spotted the issue and implemented the below fix. However, I've noticed that the some of the default schemes default replicate the error (at least in part). Below eg is RAF 2 Its also present on RAF and Button Nose. There is also a mapping issue due to the animated prop boss sharing part of the texture with the static prop hub. The following picture (The Blond Angel - one of the default schemes) illustrates this. There is a fix thanks to Raptorattacker who must have spotted it and included it on his 57th FG Wicked Wabbit skin. You need to include a strip of 'natural metal' at the back end of the hub as well as also leaving the centre of the hub NM. The fix does mean that the paint will not completely cover the hub as you can see from the following pic. However, it does mean that the animated boss is displayed correctly. Hopefully this will be of use to some of those skinning the Razorback Jug.
  13. I'd be prepared to bet that the 61st FS, HV-H was flow by Joe Powers. His later aircraft was HV-P but the nose art and name are the same. Captain Joseph H Powers, was born 8 June 1920 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He attended school in Tulsa and graduated Tulsa Central High School. He was attending The University of Oklahoma on 7 December 1941 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, causing the US to enter WWII. He entered the U.S. Army Air Forces through the U.S. Army Air Forces' Aviation Cadet Program. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant and assigned to the 61st Fighter Squadron, 56th Fighter Group, 8th Air Force, U.S. Army Air Forces based at Halesworth, England. He became an Ace in 1943 flying a P-47C. He was officially credited with 14.5 enemy aircraft shot down at the time World War II was over. He was just one half an aircraft short of being a triple Ace. After World War II Powers remained in the USAAF which in 1947 became the USAF. During the Korea War he was assigned to the 67th Fighter Bomber Squadron, 18th Fighter Bomber Group at the time of his death, 18 January 1951, when he was shot down. His remains were never recovered.
  14. Can't go wrong with a 57th FG Jug 😀
  15. Thanks Legioneod - I think you've answered my question. I have been editing the alpha layer in the skin template. This is fine if you want to change the reflectivity of certain areas (nose art, codes etc), as I just convert these to greyscale, adjust the grey levels and flatten out the contrast, then paste them into the alpha layer. If you do this using 'copy merged' you can retain the reflectivity details (panel lines rivets etc.) from the original base template. However, although this technique allows me to get very good results for a new scheme using the template as a base, it doesn't allow me to edit the overall reflectivity of the template's alpha layer. I hadn't looked at the alpha template to date - I'll do that now.
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